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FAO Schwarz was once the most prestigious toy store in the nation will close its flagship store July, 15 on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue.  Many of us remember the store from the film “Big” and then only dreamed of jumping on elephant-sized key boards to play “Chopsticks,” buying a life-sized giraffe, or a $1,500 Jeweled Classic Etch-A-Sketch. FAO Schwarz was founded in 1862, and is the oldest toy store in the US. By 1870 the German immigrant opened at NYC location named “Schwarz Toy Bazaar” on Broadway, and moved 10 years later to 14th Street in Union Square. By 1931, the store was moved to 745 Fifth Avenue for 55 years, and landed in its current location in the General Motors Building in 1986 after changes in ownership. The Schwarz family sold their shares in the company in 1963.

Toys “R” Us purchased the flagship store in 2009, and reported the iconic store was closing down due to higher rental costs in New York City. They are currently looking for another location, possibly in midtown before 2016.

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